The Manny Ramirez debate: Why is there one?

Trading for Edwin Jackson made any further upgrades absolutely necessary. If that includes an unpopular slugger, then so be it.

White Sox fans tend to value outward effort more than the norm, which is why the “grinder” campaigns have been so successful. So I can’t say I was entirely surprised when I looked at responses on the Facebook page posts (for the Sox and Chicago Tribune pages), mostly against the idea of Manny Ramirez coming to the South Side.
A sample:

Ramirez isn’t a fan favorite, that much is clear, but if Kenny Williams is being forthright, he’s ready to (finally) ignore intangibles:

“The perfect fit is less important than production, I think, in the last month of the season, the last 30 games, and that’s not to say I don’t factor it in,” Williams said. “I always factor it in and how it fits in the makeup of who we are and what we are.
“You can only get on someone’s nerves so much in 30 days. So you come in, you produce, we win, everybody’s happy. You don’t, the guy you didn’t like, he leaves anyway. Just being honest.”

Thank God. Claiming Ramirez, if he makes it to the Sox through the waivers, whenever he’s placed on them, is the only option. There’s no argument against.
I don’t know how much Ramirez has left, but even with his injury issues, he’s still hitting . .312/.404/.508. That’s better than a healthy Mandruw Kojones, especially since Ramirez has a history of reverse splits (which makes him almost like a lefty bat).
He doesn’t solve the biggest current problem area — the bullpen, which was scary once again in victory on Tuesday —  but the Sox can’t be choosers. There aren’t arms to be had, but there’s (potentially) a big bat to be taken off a team’s hands. If it’s a significant upgrade, the Sox have to take it, regardless of where he plays.
They sealed their fate when they traded Daniel Hudson for Edwin Jackson. You don’t forsake six years of cheap pitching for 1 1/2 years of expensive pitching, only to sit back, cross your fingers and wish. They have to go for it, regardless of personality, regardless of “fit,” regardless of cost.
And really, what vibes should the Sox preserve?  The last time the Sox had unrest in the clubhouse, they made the playoffs. If you believe Joe Cowley, everything ain’t swell at The Cell, and fans aren’t exactly responding to this bunch (they drew 26,263). I’m not one to blame the fans for core issues — especially when the Sox’s worst seats are the third-most expensive worst seats in the league — but they do vote with their feet, and this team has no mandate.
Cash isn’t an issue, either. They went stingy on the draft once again, and the cost of tickets, parking and a churro aren’t going to go down anytime soon, so what good is saving money? If Jerry Reinsdorf can afford a month of Ramirez, that ends that discussion.
If Ramirez’s health checks out — as much as it can, anyway — I can’t find one reason to avoid adding him. It looks like Williams sees it the same way, and he better. I thought another decision was equally obvious earlier in the year, and I was mistaken. And as it turns out, so were they.
*************************************
Arm in arm, J.J. Putz and Matt Thornton are heading to the DL as one.
Erick Threets is the obvious choice to replace Thornton, but the right-handed counterpart is a little unclear. I’m going to guess Carlos Torres is your man, with Tony Pena sliding higher on the depth chart.

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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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rhythm

As odd as reading Sox fan reactions to a potential waiver deal for Ramirez may be, reading the Damon slob job on Bless You Boys was one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen. For better or worse, Damon is a gigantic prick, didn’t they get the memo? Do they not remember when he dumped the Red Sox for the Yankees? (or A’s for the Red Sox). The guy isn’t some saint, he wants to get paid and have a chance at a title each year. Sheesh.
I read “J.J. Putz and Matt Thornton are heading to the DL as one” and the first thing that popped in my head was “Oh crap! We’re screwed!”
We were probably screwed long before this (ahem, Joe West), but I suppose I’m a slow learner.
I’m also glad that another Sox fan refuses to let go of the Thomer debacle (that can be extended to include any number of other power hitters…Huff comes to mind). The KW / Ozzie power duo will never live that down in my mind.
Oh yeah, if Ramirez is available, DO IT NOW KENNY!!!!!!

duke

Okay, but the Dodgers can still pull him back and request compensation, right?
It may be putting the cart before the horse, but what would you give up for Ramirez, if they asked?

alwayssox

I believe he is owed >4mil which is a reason he is difficult to claim. To save that money, I would think the Dodgers let someone just take him.

cushinglee

Can Manny pitch out of the bullpen? If he can, then that would be the only reason I would see to get him.

sars

right, because andruw jones and mark kotsay are such prodcutive designated HITTERS. it’s not designated CLUBHOUSE GLUE GUY. if you don’t want manny ramirez on your team for the final 30 games of the season you’re a dolt.

rhythm

SARS, I like your fire!

mechanicalturk

We may have had bullpen struggles lately, but it’s still the best in the AL, and the Sox hitting may have been hot lately but they are still below average on the season. When it comes down to it, the bullpen talent is there but they haven’t put it together recently. The hitting talent, especially at DH, simply is not there, no matter what a good week here or there say. I’d rather address what the team needs from a talent standpoint rather than make a trade to address something that’s been an issue for the last two weeks.

drlingerie

Pfffff I love the guy who wants Damon instead because “He’s proven…” Yeah, that Manny Ramirez — never could shake that AAAA tag despite his considerable talents. He’s a regular Luis Terrero.

David

: “…he wants to get paid and have a chance at a title each year.”
What is wrong with that?

rhythm

Uh, nothing. I guess my point was meandering.
In an attempt to clarify: my general impression is that Damon is a douche that will say anything to get a few extra bucks. While still with the Red Sox, he repeatedly said that he would never sign with the Yankees, etc. and then went and signed with the Yankees. I don’t fault him for signing with the Yankees in the least; he’s a d-bag for proclaiming his loyalty to the Red Sox before exploring free agency that year.
Damon’s recent statements about his love for Detroit and intentions to play there next year are eerily similar to his proclamations of love for Boston, so I don’t get why Detroit fans are so in love with the guy.
Whatevs, I’ve already spent way too much time and energy on this. Back to my wish-casting for Manny…and work.

knoxfire30

Lots of dumb fans out there. We are 3.5 back, Manny can get motivated and absolutely carry a team and win a division by himself, its a gamble and if we were up 3.5 maybe you dont take it, but down in the race its time to go all in on a Ramirez move, THIS IS A NO BRAINER.
Speaking of NO BRAINERS, its awesome that after knocking the baserunning yesterday Gordon Beckham comes out and gets doubled off and picked off, BOTH unexcusable although hawk tried to make some bullshit case for the first one being a tough play.

ricksch

Of course you sign Manny. Sox are a desperate team and they only have “values” when it suits them. If they weren’t desperate (or desperately stupid) why else would they make the Hudson/Jackson deal? BTW — Hudson made his 5th straight QS since being dumped. 1.72 ERA Not too bad for a “back of the rotation/long relief guy” PLAYING FOR THE MINIMUM.
I’ll let the Hudson thing go once Kenny’s kicked to the curb where he belongs.

rhythm

“I’ll let the Hudson thing go once Kenny’s kicked to the curb where he belongs”
I’ll add a few to the growing list:
Swisher trade #2
Not signing Tabasco
Not signing Thomer
Not sure I agree with you on Kenny getting kicked to the curb, though I would like to see what Hahn would do.

striker

There is no such thing as a perfect GM. They all have made moves that didn’t work in their favor. Even the almighty Billy Beane.
Name anyone that is available that is better than Kenny.

blah

Kevin Towers

ricksch

You left out the Teahen extension. It’s true that all GMs make good and bad moves, but Kenny’s made more bad lately. Even his so-called “good moves” in the last two-three years haven’t been major pieces and his big deals, like Peavy and Rios, seem, at the very least, precarious. Injuries aren’t Kenny’s fault, but either the method or the personnel involved in scouting appears to be a problem.
Beyond the baseball, this whole business of deferring the Thome non-acquisition to the manager makes me question Williams’ integrity. This buddy-love culture with the staff’s offspring getting draft slots is distasteful and begs the organization’s credibility. Hahn went out of his way to justify the Teahen extension, why reward him?
Clean sweep. Ozzie included.

tdogg

I dont like the deal either but Im tired of folks using a few starts by Hudson of proof of anything production wise. I mean he did start a couple games here…..
Era aside Jackson has done better than Hudson so far and I believe he will outproduce Hudson next year.
The money argument is of course a different one.

baseballjones

So, on that first one (Beckham getting doubled off first) when Pie makes an unbelievable play, jumps up and throws an absolute seed to first to just barely nip GB…you’d have fared better???

knoxfire30

lets go over the diving catch, double off,
your beckham, you get 40 percent off the bag, if a diving play is made you easily walk back to first you cant be doubled off if your that far off, lets say the ball is dropped on the dive and your 40 percent off the bag you walk into 2nd safely, lets say its played on one hop, it might be a bang bang play at 2nd worst case scenario your out and pierre switches spots with you at first WHICH IS A BETTER SITUATION,
What I cant figure out is what situation existed for beckham to be about 70 percent off first on that play, if the ball drops he walks into 2nd, if the ball is caught without a dive he is out at first, if its caught with a dive he is out at first, if it is misplayed he still has no chance to get to third, why was he off so far???
SO YEA I WOULD HAVE FAIRED BETTER!

baseballjones

Okay, let’s say he is 40% off like you prescribe, and the ball drops right in front of Pie (no dive), and he fields it on a clean hop, and alertly makes a very short throw to second to force him at second. I guess then, your critique would have been…”why the hell wasn’t he half (50%) way?”

knoxfire30

40-50 is acceptable, if he gets tossed out on a fluke bloop play at 2nd base then so be it, pierre didnt hit the ball hard it wasnt like a hit was deserved and instead of beckham at first its pierre on first likely stealing 2nd
1 choice kills the inning its getting doubled off, there are NO CHOICES that advance beckham to third, why was he off so far??? no positive result really existed, i take my chances getting thrown out at 2nd there every time instead of watching a DP kill an inning.

blah

Does JP ever hit the ball hard?

baseballjones

And, while we are putting the cart before the horse, IF Manny is brought over for a one month (plus?) rental AND he doesn’t irritate people too much….can we please then try to sign him to a one-year deal so that we don’t have to do the whole rotating DH debate the entire off-season? Pretty please?

Shinons

He’d look awful good in this lineup. Any word if he’d approve us if we claimed him?
I’m wondering how it’d affect third base. Would Vizquel still be full time, or would we be obliged to split with Teahen…

tdogg

I’d just take away a few of Q’s abs on the road and Manny won’t play everyday.

greenlantern

Will he for sure get past up by every national league team?

marshlands

Where do people get their information on baseball? It’s absurd. I had a phone call yesterday with my Dad that read just like those Facebook posts.
Hey yo, people, Manny Ramirez is NEVER NOT HIT REALLY REALLY WELL. Do the math.
Now sign him.

marshlands

*HAS never not hit really well.
Which is to say, he’s always been really good. Still is. At hitting.

mechanicalturk

As a GM, in Kenny’s shoes, I absolutely would acquire Manny, and from a baseball perspective, any move that makes the team better is a good one.
But as a fan, I can see the apprehension. I like winning and I like the Sox being good. It makes me happy. And in the end, that’s the key thing here: making me (as a fan) happy.
Manny is not my favorite player in the world. He’s a confirmed steroid user and can be annoying to watch play at times. Those things, and a million other things he does, bug me. They reduce my happiness. And if the Sox fail to even make the playoffs, I think for a lot of people the happiness coming from a better team would not outweigh the unhappiness from watching Manny be Manny in a Sox uniform.
On the other hand, there’s Griffey. Ken Griffey Jr. is one of my all time favorite players, and I was delighted to get to see him play, in person, on the south side wearing a Sox uniform. I know he wasn’t very good, but I didn’t care. That’s Ken Griffey Jr. His mere presence made me happy. Seeing Griffey and Thome sitting together on the bench, talking, and thinking about everything those two men had done in this game was one of the best moments for me in 2008, and it’s one of my fondest memories from that season.
Right now, I want to win. Personally, I can put up with Manny for a month (and hopefully a few weeks more in October). I can look past all the non-hitting things Manny would bring with him. But I do understand the people who can’t.

marshlands

Can we also talk about not liking Manny Ramirez, on like, a personal/preferential level?
I mean, do people really take baseball THAT seriously? What’s Manny ever done aside from been a) one of the best right-handed hitters ever and b) been one of the game’s true eccentrics?
Dude cuts off relay throws in the outfield, jumps up the wall to high five fans after making a nice catch, rubs Julian Tavaraz’s head, etc. The guy doesn’t even keep track of the count when he’s batting!
If there’s one thing baseball/sports has needed now more than ever it’s ACTUAL, INTERESTING PLAYERS, and steroids or not, Manny is definitely one of them.
BRING IT ON

blah

Duplicity of baseball i guess. Shawn Chacon gets his deal voided… Manny gets 40 million extension…

sars

yeah, it kind of makes no sense that people seem to equate eccentricities with dislike. they equate bad fielding with being lazy. without looking it up, i’m guessing manny is a career 300/400/500 hitter. you don’t put up that triple slash by being lazy. he’s cheap, would probably cost no players in return, and can still really hit.

marshlands

We’re also forgetting to mention that it’s likely Manny will never even cash his paychecks from the White Sox, so ya know, there’s that.